AA Tehran Visiting School – Continuous Domes

AA Visiting School Tehran - September 2014

Course Director : Omid Kamvari

Unit Tutor : Kasper Ax

Students: Roshanak Ghezelbash, Navid Shockravi, Ronak Roshan, Romina Aghande, Anahita Dehlavi, Kiana Mousavi,



On the boundary of liquid and solid.


The studio will base its research around continuous materials and invent design opportunities on the boundary between liquid and solid. The notion of continuous materials is certainly not a new phenomenon in construction. We know that, where other ancient building methods, such as the Greek temple, were utilizing processes of carving, i.e. subtraction from existing material to create practical building components, parts of the regional heritage of Iran is highly depending on the chemical processes that happen when a material goes from a state of liquid to a state of solid- as in the compression and solidification of moulded mud turning into bricks and adobes. However, with more recent technological additions and advances available for the building industry, such as programmable 3D printing and robotic arms, our conception of continuous materials must be tested, challenged and pushed to the extreme.

Our material systems will consist of two main parts which we will develop in parallel: The primary material which may be a mixed, liquid substance with the ability to solidify. And the form-work that enables the primary material to obtain a spatial versatile configuration. We will test and develop our material systems and their capabilities with the ambition of going far beyond conventional casting methods. We will establish alternative ideas of mixing and connecting materials and textures through emulsions, adherings, temperature changes, aggregations, conjugations, hybrids, pigmentations etc. The intention will be to obtain material properties that match the sophistication of the regional heritage, but with the ability to responds to actual, current and future requirements such as structure, environment, function, circulation, porosity, atmospherics etc.
In order to understand the very essence of the regional architecture, its history and heritage, we will turn our attention towards one of its most dominant geometric elements- the dome. Not for the sake of reproducing or imitating it, rather to examine it and understand the centuries of knowledge embedded within it. We will break it into fragments to discover any logic that reveals itself in traditional patterns, textures, structures and architectural elements in order to enable new ideas for spatiality.

When traditional architectural layouts were often based on pure forms, symmetry and stability they suggested organizational principles and inhabitation that was subordinate to these- on the urban as well as the building scale. For our final proposals we will analyse existing urban patterns and respond to them critically, in order to contextualize our designs by inserting them and making them functional in the public domain. Each group will identify and analyse an existing site fully accessible by the public with the aim of transforming it into an enhanced, contemporary version of itself. This will be done mainly by re-strategizing the circulation paths on and around the chosen site and thereby activating their design on 1:1 scale.



AA Visiting School Tehran - September 2014